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Using Radiators to Cool CPUs 245

dan writes "Overclockers Australia have a review up of the CPU Radiator Zen, a new approach to cooling your toasty CPU's. Rather than taking the traditional approach of a heatsink with lots of fins and a noisy 7,000rpm fan it uses radiator/heat pipe technology. The implementation of the unit is a bit flawed, but it is interesting to see where the technology is heading.. and if it can be done right I personally think this is where it will end up."
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Using Radiators to Cool CPUs

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  • Noisy Fans? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @12:58PM (#2533105) Homepage Journal
    a noisy 7,000rpm fan

    Maybe I'm just an old-school style computer guy, but is fan noise really that big of a deal? My computer is in an infants room and it doesn't wake up the baby (counterstrike pumped through 4 speakers does, but that's beside the point). Honestly, who has a huge issue with fan noise?

    And why always complain about CPU fan noise? Doesn't the fans in the power supply make more noise, anyway?
  • by melquiades ( 314628 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @12:59PM (#2533112) Homepage
    I remember seeing years ago on public television somebody demonstrating this amazing liquid which, I believe, was called "chlorinert". It looked and behaved more or less like water, but it was completely nonconductive. The guy demostrated by plugging in a lamp, submerging it in the liquid, and screwing in a bulb while it was submerged. It was pretty amazing.

    They mentioned its possible application to CPU cooling in supercomputers -- the idea was that you would actually submerge whole circuit boards in the liquid, while pumping it through a conventional refrigeration unit. Heat sinks be damned!

    Apparently it never caught on, though -- I can't find anything about it online. Even mighty google just says, "Did you mean 'chlorine'?" I think it was incredibly expensive; perhaps that's the reason.
  • by El Puerco Loco ( 31491 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:02PM (#2533135)
    it was cool when you could jack a celeron300a up to 450mhz and have it run faster than a pentium 450 at less than half the price, but with most processors today you're looking at maybe a 5 or 10 percent gain and maybe a 20 or 30 dollars in savings. the savings is nil when you have to buy a fancy cooling solution to keep running
  • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:05PM (#2533149)
    No this is hopefully NOT where it (CPU cooling technology) will end up. Ideally, it will end up with CPUs that consume less power and give off less heat, can withstand higher core temperatures, and can more efficiently transfer heat outside the core. Slapping a vapor refrigerator onto the CPU is the opposite of elegance.
  • um, guys? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by b0r1s ( 170449 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:05PM (#2533150) Homepage
    I agree that this is cool, but come on now, why are we posting stories about something that doesnt yet work? Can't we wait until it 1) works well (the page states that other high performance heat sinks with large fans outperform it), and 2)doesnt damage the chips (We first tested the Zen Radiator, then the PAL 6035, and finally the MC462. After the first run we thought it a good idea to run the test again with the Zen Radiator in order to verify our results. This turned out to be a bad idea. The installation was again rather painful. Again a lot of pressure and time was necessary until we finally managed to connect the Zen Radiator with the socket. After powering up, the OS did not boot. To make it short: when mounting the unit on the socket, we had damaged the CPU. Chunks from all 4 corners of the die were broken off.)...

    It's cool and all, but if this were software, it would surely be beta. Do we really need beta announcements? (*cough* mozilla *cough*) ...
  • Re:Heat Capacity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stilwebm ( 129567 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:07PM (#2533165)
    Several reasons why water is not commonly found in computers. One, water an electricity do no mix well. Two, it is very expensive to make the many parts required to keep water in the cooling system, keep it flowing, and still allow it to exchange the heat with air. By very expensive, I don't mean hundreds of dollars per CPU, but considering that a heatsink and fan combo are very inexpensive to manufacture...
  • Re:Heat Capacity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pbur ( 88030 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:23PM (#2533244)
    IIRC, *pure* water doesn't conduct electricity. It's all the crap found in freshwater that make it conduct.
  • by daemonc ( 145175 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:24PM (#2533252)
    ...if it hadn't DESTROYED their CPU and their motherboard.
  • Re:Heat Capacity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gorilla ( 36491 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @01:45PM (#2533344)
    Actually mainframes went away from water cooling, starting with Amdahl in 1979. Nowadays even IBM's highend mainframes are air cooled.
  • try this: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by brad3378 ( 155304 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @02:21PM (#2533548)
    Instead of using a conventional radiator to cool the fluid, why not use a large reservoir of fluid that will cool via natural convection? Besides, a radiator would require a fan just to keep the fins cool.

    My proposal:
    Use a water block on your processor(s)
    and recirculate water from a large fish tank.
    I think large aquariums use a water pump for the filter system anyway.

    Even a dual AMD box would have a hard time boiling off the water from a 30 gallon aquarium.
  • Re:Other reviews (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @02:59PM (#2533772)
    Very cool, if it weren't for the fact that they destroyed a motherboard and a processor in the process of installing it I'd be more interested in getting one :).

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